Recipe: Wild Rice Salad With Walnuts And Orange (+ Video)

Salad Recipes, Side Dish Recipes, Vegetarian Recipes

dairy free salad,gluten free salad,healthy filling salad,vegan salad,wild rice salad,

By: Chris Freytag, CPT

If you live in Minnesota, you’re familiar with wild rice salad! Wild rice has a rich nutty flavor and is high in protein, but low in fat. It has become particularly popular as it is gluten-free and offers great nutritional properties.

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This wild rice salad with walnuts and oranges is exceptionally delicious and light. You have to cook the wild rice (instant pot instructions below) but aside from that this recipe is super easy! I make it even easier in this version by purchasing Brianna’s Brand Blush red wine vinaigrette dressing. You can use a homemade recipe or whatever you have, but we love this brand so much, it’s become a favorite for this recipe.

This wild rice salad is such a great side dish and I’ve made it for everything from picnics in the summer to a holiday side. You can also add extra protein like cooked chicken and serve it as an entree as well.

We’ve written this recipe for feeding a crowd as that’s when we typically make it. It’s such a great holiday recipe when the family is around, but if you’re just looking to feed a few mouths, we recommend cutting it in half.

Since this wild rice salad is gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan, it’s the perfect side that everyone can enjoy!

Try even more delicious salads by exploring my favorite healthy salad recipes that work for any meal!


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    Make Ahead Instructions

    This salad actually keeps very well in the fridge. The simplest method for making this wild rice salad ahead of time is to cook the rice and then place it in the fridge overnight. Then all you have to do the next day is chop a few items and toss all together. However, if you’re really in a time crunch on the day of serving, you can make this salad from start to finish and store it in the refrigerator. We find that the walnuts and celery might not be quite as crunchy as when you first toss them on, but they do hold some crunch still. The dressing can also absorb into the rice a bit as it sits so you may just want to drizzle a bit more dressing at the end in order for that flavor to really come through.

    Our Favorite Dressing For A Wild Rice Salad

    Bottle of Briana's Blush Wine Vinaigrette Dressing

    Wild rice has a delicious nutty flavor that pairs very well with a bright, fruity dressing. Our favorite dressing for this wild rice salad is Brianna’s Blush Wine Vinaigrette, but of course, you can always make your own dressing if you prefer homemade. A red wine vinegar-based dressing is a great fit here!

    How To Cook Wild Rice in Instant Pot

    For this wild rice salad, you can use pure wild rice, or a wild rice blend (which is what we typically do). Making wild rice on the stovetop is easy enough but it can take some time to cook. If you prefer to use your instant pot, here is our preferred method:

    1. Rinse rice in a fine mesh sieve.
    2. Put rice in the instant pot and add double the water (1 cup rice = 2 cups water; 2 cups rice = 4 cups water).
    3. Cook on manual setting for 30 minutes. Allow to naturally release and fluff with a fork.

    This salad can be served warm, at room temperature or cold from the fridge.

    Single serving of wild rice salad on a white dish with serving bowl in the background

    Other Filling Salad Recipes

    45 degree view of wild rice salad in a white bowl

    Total Time: 80 minutes

    Yield: 10 serving(s)


    • 3 cups wild rice (or wild rice medley)
    • 9 cups water
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 4 stalks celery diced
    • ¼ medium red onion, diced
    • 1 cup craisins and/or yellow raisins (can do mix or just one)
    • 1 ½ cups canned mandarin oranges diced
    • 1 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
    • ½ bottle of Brianna’s blush red wine vinaigrette (or any red wine vinaigrette)


    1. Cook 3 cups wild rice in 9 cups water or according to the directions on box or bag with 1 tsp salt.
    2. Cool wild rice once cooked and make sure all the water is absorbed. Mix the cooled rice with all the other ingredients: diced celery, diced red onion, diced mandarin oranges, diced craisins, diced yellow raisins, walnuts and dressing in a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate with all ingredients combined for 10 minutes before serving.

    Nutrition Information Per Serving

    Serving Size: 1 cup

    355 calories, 9 grams protein, 11 grams fat, 56 carbs, 5 grams fiber

    From the kitchen of:

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